Williams mum on whether police chief will come from Wilmington

By Tom Lehman 5:43pm, April 1, 2014 - Updated 8:16am, April 2, 2014
Mayor Dennis Williams wouldn't say on Tuesday if Wilmington's next police chief would be selected from within the department ranks or outside the city.

WDEL's Tom Lehman has more.

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Williams, a former city cop, shied away from making a verbal commitment to selecting a new chief from outside the city during two separate interviews on WDEL. He said in January that a national search would be conducted.

"I'm looking for a police chief," the mayor told Rick Jensen after being asked if he was still looking for a new police chief that wasn't already in the city.

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Williams made a similar comment during Delaware's Morning News, when he wouldn't commit to selecting an officer from internal or external candidate pools.

During that interview, he noted that the administration is already looking at applicants and will try to develop a pool of 15 candidates. A panel will then select five prospective chiefs before the final decision is made.

"Some we like, some we're not particularly thrilled about," he said.

It's unknown how many people have already applied for the job or intend to submit an application before the April 28 deadline.

Interim Police Chief Bobby Cummings, who took over the department after Christine Dunning retired in January, has applied for the job.

Cummings said he's familiar with the mayor's plan and indicated it involves creating opportunities for those within the department and surrounding community.

"I bring a level of leadership and respect between our officers and out in the community that I think would lend well to this position," he said.

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Whomever leads the department will have to follow the direction set by the administration, Williams said.

"The police chief will run his or her department as long as they stay on the mission of the Williams administration," he said. "They're not going to come in here and be dilly-dallying and not making people work and going back to the old ways again."

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